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Old 27.03.2017, 19:15
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Swiss driving licence valid in USA

Hi Guys

Will my Swiss DL be valid for renting (and driving) a car in the USA?

thanks
sva
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Old 27.03.2017, 19:23
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

Yes.
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Old 27.03.2017, 19:26
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

Been using mine for nearly 30 years there, even when I was still a US citizen.

Tom
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Old 27.03.2017, 19:40
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

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Hi Guys

Will my Swiss DL be valid for renting (and driving) a car in the USA?

thanks
sva
It's not simply "Yes." There are exceptions, namely Michigan, Wisconsin and Vermont, see this very useful post.

I could be in deep shi'ite in Michigan. As long as I stay in our county, there's no problem since I'm good friends with our County Sheriff and know all of his undersheriffs and most deputies. Outside, it's usually my OH that has to drive, just in order not to tempt fate.

I'm glad I got the credit-card-sized CH DL a few years ago. Last summer I got pulled over in our MI county. I'm sure the officer would have had a laughing fit if I had handed him the old blue blanket-sized DL.
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Old 27.03.2017, 20:03
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

you could always get an international one (you still have to have your Swiss one with you).
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Old 27.03.2017, 20:07
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

Print out this translation of the CH permit (English) and make sure you keep it in the car with you. You may need it if stopped by the cops.

Link: http://www.astra2.admin.ch/media/pdf...-15_2264_e.pdf
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Old 27.03.2017, 20:10
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

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you could always get an international one (you still have to have your Swiss one with you).
As stated on the thread I linked to, the International Driver's License is NOT a driver's license; i's just a translation into many languages and not valid without the valid driver's license. And that's the problem in those US states.
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Old 27.03.2017, 20:23
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

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Print out this translation of the CH permit (English) and make sure you keep it in the car with you. You may need it if stopped by the cops.

Link: http://www.astra2.admin.ch/media/pdf...-15_2264_e.pdf
perfect. many thanks, Verbier!
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Old 27.03.2017, 20:24
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

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It's not simply "Yes." There are exceptions, namely Michigan, Wisconsin and Vermont, see this very useful post.

I tip my hat to you, Captain. I go to bed a little less stupid tonight.

(Note to self: Perhaps best to re-think that Tabor Hill reunion...)
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Old 27.03.2017, 20:30
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

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Hi Guys

Will my Swiss DL be valid for renting (and driving) a car in the USA?

thanks
sva
A question that is not at all off topic: Does sva stand for Strassenverkehrsamt (Road Traffic Agency)?
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Old 27.03.2017, 20:44
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

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As stated on the thread I linked to, the International Driver's License is NOT a driver's license; i's just a translation into many languages and not valid without the valid driver's license. And that's the problem in those US states.
Yes, that's why I said the drivers liscense he has to carry as well
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Old 27.03.2017, 21:00
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

I know you said that, but what I meant is that the International Driver's License, of course, does not make the CH one valid in those states that refuse to recognize it.
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Old 27.03.2017, 21:45
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

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I know you said that, but what I meant is that the International Driver's License, of course, does not make the CH one valid in those states that refuse to recognize it.
You are saying they completely refuse a Swiss driver's liscense? On what basis?!? So what is a Swiss tourise - one of those who bring the most money into their country - supposed to do?!
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Old 27.03.2017, 22:32
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

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You are saying they completely refuse a Swiss driver's liscense? On what basis?!? So what is a Swiss tourise - one of those who bring the most money into their country - supposed to do?!
Refrain from driving, simple as that. Or gang up with the police, like me.

As you may know, in the USA traffic laws and regulations differ from state to state. What's legal in one state may get you in jail just on the other side of the river. Recognizing foreign licenses is a matter of state jurisdiction, not federal.

When I got pulled over last summer, I realized it was one of the few officers I had never met before. He took my license to his car and transmitted its particulars to the headquarters, which is just on the hill behind our village. I jestingly call it "Capitol Hill" because that new police building cum county prison is pretty palatial. I was pretty nervous because I did not know who was at the other end of the radio transmission. Then the officer came back to our car, politely apologized for the harassment and wished us a safe rest of our trip.

I equally politely said, "Thank you very much Sir, but can I please have my license back?" He laughed out loud, apologized again, ran back to his car, cam back and gave me my license, again with the best wishes. Phew.

I later told Sheriff Mike about this encounter, and he had a good laugh too.
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Old 27.03.2017, 23:10
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

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Refrain from driving, simple as that. Or gang up with the police, like me.

As you may know, in the USA traffic laws and regulations differ from state to state. What's legal in one state may get you in jail just on the other side of the river. Recognizing foreign licenses is a matter of state jurisdiction, not federal.

When I got pulled over last summer, I realized it was one of the few officers I had never met before. He took my license to his car and transmitted its particulars to the headquarters, which is just on the hill behind our village. I jestingly call it "Capitol Hill" because that new police building cum county prison is pretty palatial. I was pretty nervous because I did not know who was at the other end of the radio transmission. Then the officer came back to our car, politely apologized for the harassment and wished us a safe rest of our trip.

I equally politely said, "Thank you very much Sir, but can I please have my license back?" He laughed out loud, apologized again, ran back to his car, cam back and gave me my license, again with the best wishes. Phew.

I later told Sheriff Mike about this encounter, and he had a good laugh too.
Yeah, well, I don't like that ganging up with the police is a possibility.

But - out of curiosity: As you live there, why don't you get an US license?
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Old 27.03.2017, 23:20
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

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Yeah, well, I don't like that ganging up with the police is a possibility.

But - out of curiosity: As you live there, why don't you get an US license?
My residence is still in Switzerland. I spend up to three months a year in the USA, and my American OH spends 3 - 6 months in Switzerland.
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Old 28.03.2017, 09:43
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

This past December I rented a car in the US with my Swiss license, no International Driver's License.

I got pulled over in Indiana. I handed the officer my Swiss license. He said "In order for this to work here, I need to see your passport". I said that's fine, but it's in the back of the car in my luggage. The luggage was visibly stacked to the roof of the hatchback. He responded with "Don't worry about it then". He just wanted my $200, and move on as quickly as possible to the next guy.
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Old 28.03.2017, 10:10
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

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I know you said that, but what I meant is that the International Driver's License, of course, does not make the CH one valid in those states that refuse to recognize it.
Vermont recognizes it: http://dmv.vermont.gov/licenses/type...reign-licenses

Tom
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Old 05.09.2017, 00:56
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

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A question that is not at all off topic: Does sva stand for Strassenverkehrsamt (Road Traffic Agency)?
I no tell
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Old 05.09.2017, 00:58
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Re: Swiss driving licence valid in USA

BTW, since the thread has revived, an update.

I was able to rent a car on my Swiss DL, drove nearly 2000 miles GA to NYC and back, without being pulled over. Nothing interesting to share.

I did get reminded a lot of India tho, esp on the motorways.
F. Ex.
Three lanes on a 55mph stretch, all occupied, two with large trucks - one doing 65mph the other 66.
Cars driving in fixed lanes at all kinds of speeds between 55 and even 80! Guys like me weaving in between.
Random rubbish all along the shoulders.
Nearly everyone doing 80 on a 65mph stretch; cops pull over one random unfortunate guy.
Constant presence of suface cracks / bumps.

Switzerland has spoilt me.

Last edited by sva; 05.09.2017 at 01:12. Reason: Additional info
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